'Don't let your dog play with sticks' warning after Barney undergoes emergency surgery
PUBLISHED: 16:54 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:55 25 June 2019
A dog owner is warning others about the danger of allowing their pooch to play with or chew on sticks.
Kate Wilson's dog Barney underwent surgery to remove a piece of stick which had become wedged between his back teeth.
She took him to Raddenstiles, in Exmouth, and Barney underwent emergency dental treatment.
Barney is a 'Pets as Therapy' dog and is usually out and about visiting care homes, hospitals, people with special educational needs, and others who benefit from interacting with dogs.
Kate, from Sidmouth, said: "We'd noticed that Barney was a bit out of sorts and rather slow, but we put that down to his arthritis and his age.
"But then his breath started to smell, which was very unusual.
"We took him to our vet, Emily Parr at Raddenstiles, and she identified very quickly that his back teeth were the source of the problem.
"We booked him in for emergency dental treatment and were shocked when Emily called and explained what the x-rays had shown."
Poor Barney had a piece of wood wedged between his teeth that had caused dental disease and an abscess.
He underwent a tricky operation to remove the stick and the affected teeth, and to clean up the affected area.
Kate said: "Emily also recommended a weight loss programme with specially trained nurse Nikki, so Barney is not only pain free but also leaner and healthier.
"We are very grateful to the team at Raddenstiles so pleased that he is back to being a happy dog."
Pets as Therapy is a national charity set up in 1983 to allow animals and their owners to visit a variety of venues including hospitals and care homes across the UK.
The charity aims to tackle loneliness and improve the lives of those suffering with 'debilitating' mental and physical health conditions like autism, dementia and strokes.
Visits can also help children improve their literacy through Pets as Therapy's Read2dogs scheme.
Anyone who knows someone who may benefit from a visit from a 'pets as therapy' dog or think your dog may be suitable then visit their website https://petsastherapy.org/ or follow them on Facebook.